Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday on Rosh Hashana it will be the 20th anniversary of Jack Smith's passing. I am still haunted by the guilt I feel at not stopping Alan Ginsberg from taking Jack's photo as he lay helpless attached to tubes at Beth Israel hospital. I was not there alone, two friends were with me, but I was the official monitor, there expressly to mediate between Jack and the hospital.
I think it was Ivan Gallieti who set up the system. A group of Jack's friends volunteered to take turns. This was my shift, and I of all people knew how important Jack's appearance was to him.
He spent hours applying makeup before every time I photographed him. To be photographed as he lay dying was not something he would approve of. I learned years later Alan had exhibited those photos; It is one of the many crosses I will have to live with.
I am excited to be taking part in the amazing world spectacle-- FIVE FLAMING DAYS IN A RENTED WORLD--LIVE FILM--JACK SMITH in Berlin. I will be doing a live film performance of BUBBLE DOUBLE Starring Jack Smith with the Brilliant filmmaker Ela Troyano using her legendary movie BUBBLE PEOPLE and my own slides and strips from the early 1980's. I will also show more than 200 original transparencies of Jack photographed from 1982-89--At The Arsenal Thursday Oct. 29 at 9:30. Finally, I am especially excited about my ALLIUM CHANDALIER Installation, a Day of the Dead Shrine to Jack at The Kino Arsenal in Berlin's Sony Center.
Photos of Jack were taken by me as he prepared for the role of Death and as Death in the movie SOULS OF THE CITY by Ari Rousimoff. Jack asked me to come along to take photos. These were the last photos of him before entering the hospital for the last time, 1989.